She Had Figments of a Mind Diseased

by Pamela Pattison Lash


Nancy Jane Cosgrove Hesket Marshall v John Marshall (Journal 11 p193 - 21 June 1881; Roll 36 case number 879 - 7 Apr 1881)


The couple was married on 3 Feb 1863 in Cumberland, Guernsey Co, OH. This was his third marriage and her second.  John, a native of Guernsey Co, parentage unknown, was born on 10 Mar 1818.  He married Eliza Jane Magee in Hocking Co, OH on 29 Oct 1841. The Marshalls were enumerated in the 1850 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p67, as John 30 OH, Eliza 29 IRE, Joseph W 8 OH, Robert M 6 OH, Thomas R 4 OH, and Martha M 8M OH.  By 1851 John became a widower. His second wife was Mrs. Rachel Tenor, whom he wed on 6 July 1858, pos Defiance Co, OH according to an Internet source, but a check of the Defiance Co marriages did not yield any such data.  They do appear in the 1860 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p374, as John 41 OH, Rachel 38 VA, Joseph 17 OH, Robert 16 OH, Thomas 14 OH, and Ida 1 OH.

According to the 1860 Cumberland, Spencer Twp, Guernsey Co, OH federal census p226, Nancy J. Hesket 25 PA lived with her parents, Henry Cosgrove 55 PA master blacksmith and Nancy 44 PA plus their Cosgrove children James W 24 PA, Sarah F 14 PA, Henry E 21 PA, William B 12 PA, Catharine 9 PA, and John E 6 OH.  Nancy Hesket, a widow, also had a son William 3 OH residing with this family. Through the next two census reports this William Hesketís name changed to James and back to William.

 In the 1870 St Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census, p42, the family was enumerated as John Marshall 49 OH stave factory worker, Nancy 36 PA, Robert 23 OH, Joseph S 26 OH, Thomas 22 OH, Charles  (b 11 Feb 1866) 6 OH, James Heskett 13 OH, and Ida Marshall 11 OH.   Later they had a daughter Nina, b 25 June 1875 in Wms Co (Births V1 p90).  The family was listed in the 1880 St Joseph Twp federal census, p2, as John 62 OH, Nancy 46 PA, William Heskitt 23 OH stepson, Charles Marshall 16 OH, and Nina Mae Marshall 5 OH. 

            Nancy told the court that she had three children with John, Lucinda Belle, Charles (17), and Nina Mae (5), and they lived in Edgerton.  Between 6 Apr 1881- 1 Nov 1881 John was cruel to her and failed to provide food, clothing, etc.  Lucinda Lind of Ft. Wayne, IN, stated that John was often angry and threatening at the time Nancy was sick.  John, who appeared in court, said his wife was in ill health in body and mind for the last few years.  He stated that Nancy had "figments of a mind diseased" and she had no property even though she brought a list of property to court.  The court dismissed this action.

            John left Wms Co in the fall of 1882 and lived with his son Thomas Marshall in Rome City, Noble Co, IN where John died on 5 Mar 1884 (online Noble Co, IN obit, unnamed newspaper for 14 Mar 1884), and was buried with his first wife and son Matthew in the Floral Grove Cem, Pioneer, OH (no stones found). Nancy Marshall according to the 1900 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census p192, lived alone as Nancy b July 1835 (65) PA widow with no children (obvious error on children). Upon her death in 1909 she was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton (1834-1909); her daughter Nina (1875-1946) and son-in-law Dr. George Bratten (1873-1959) later joined her.  Her son Charles Marshall (1866-1957) and his wife Della H (1874-1945) were also buried nearby.


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